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Something Old, Something New

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…you know how the rest of it goes.

A woman’s wedding is supposed to be the peak of her entire life. She finally found someone who wants to spend forever with her and her parents want to shell out the equivalent to a down payment on a house to make sure everyone and their brother knows about it. What’s the big deal? Aren’t a cute sundress and the courthouse all you really need to start the rest of your life with another human being? Apparently not. 

(This article is out of humor, and I appreciate every last detail my parents planned and paid for. They gave Jason and I a night that we will remember for the rest of our lives and we are eternally grateful. Love you guys.)

 

I mentioned some of these things before in my “What I’ve Learned After Getting Engaged” article, but after having experience them, I felt it necessary to repeat a few of them, and add in a few other wedding-tidbits.

Hair and Makeup Appointments = HASSLE 

I had a friend of my from high school do my bridal hair (shoutout to Whitney Nhor if you’re reading this girl, you rock) and my Maid of Honor came with me to get her’s done by another lady at the salon. First of all, I didn’t even know how I wanted my hair like a week before the wedding. I made my appointment five days prior to the big day and everyone kept calling me crazy. Originally, I wasn’t even going to pay someone to do it for me! Anyway… So I’ve mentioned before that I am a 90-year-old woman when it comes to Pinterest, right? Jason’s best friend Natalie (thankfully) showed me some of the ins and outs so I could find some good ideas that wouldn’t make me look like I was going to the 2002 Junior Prom. We decided on:

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And obviously, we got to the salon and my hair was not cooperating with the idea of a waterfall braid. I didn’t mind switching up the plan to make sure we had enough time, but Whitney was determined. My stubborn locks finally let her weave magic onto my head and it turned out GAW-JUSSSSS. Meanwhile, Trish (MOH) was sitting in the chair next to me and this old, Eastern-European woman was giving her an updo fit for the Queen of England—and I don’t mean expensive and elegant, I mean old looking and too put-together. My beautiful best friend had just been turned into a poodle. We all just laughed at the situation and she just accepted that it would fall out and look more natural over the course of the morning. Let’s back track a little bit—I forgot clothes for that morning. I stayed over at Trisha’s house after the rehearsal dinner and in my brain, I was wearing my wedding dress the next day so obviously I didn’t need clothes. Except for the 7 hours prior to the wedding that I had to be in public! She is about five inches shorter than me and a few sizes smaller, in clothes and shoes. We ended up finding a pair of yoga pants and a jacket (that I wore without a shirt under it) and a pair of flip flops that were 2 sizes too small. Fast forward back to the salon—Trisha’s hair was finished and poor Whitney was still trying to tame my unruly hair into a Pinterest-perfect “do”. I couldn’t bear to wear those sandals any longer so Trish sprinted to Old Navy and bought me a plain, white pair of their classic flip flops (my mom pointed out that this will be an awesome memory and I HAVE to keep them, so I did).

Thanks to my insane head of hair, we were a little behind schedule getting to Nordstrom’s for my makeup appointment with MAC. Of course, traffic had to be all backed up on the day of my wedding. I rush into the store and get a seat; where I wait for over half an hour before a drop of product even touches my face. The girl comes back and covers me in primer and then disappears, this time for nearly 20 minutes! WOMAN DO YOU UNDERSTAND I HAVE A WEDDING TO GET TO AND IT HAPPENS TO BE MINE?! I understand it was two days before Christmas but damn it, I had an appointment and kind of wanted to feel important. After whatever shenanigans she was getting into, she finally comes back and I show her what I had in mind:

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So her nimble little hands get to work and less than 20 minutes later she hands me a mirror and I see this:

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All right, I can dig it.

Before I know it, both of my soon-to-be sister in laws show up and are waiting on me. Little did we know, traffic was getting worse by the minute and we were still 10 miles away. We finally get to the venue (only 10 minutes late, no biggie) and my mom and grandma were awaiting us in the Bridal Suite with champagne. Blah blah blah, getting into my dress and shoes and jewelry and veil and that entire snow queen garb. The best part, however, was my grandma giving my great grandmother’s blue floral handkerchief to pin around the stem of my bouquet, it was beautiful.

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The preparation was stressful, the big day was exhausting, the reception was beautiful and full of my favorite people, but all I can say is that we were both happy for it to all be over and get the chance to enjoy some time at home together as husband and wife (still getting used to using those words). Take it from me when I tell you that nothing wedding-wise will ever turn out as planned but it won’t matter because the most important thing is that you’re creating a new lifetime with the coolest person in the world—and that’s that.

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Uncategorized

Temporary Hiatus

Lyss and I have bigger, better things to do than blog at the moment.

 

Okay, maybe not that much better… But with her being in the Army and me in the Air Force, WE GET TO GO HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. I’m leaving early tomorrow morning and she’ll be heading out on Monday evening. This week has been exceptionally hectic trying to get everything ready for both of our trips.

She’ll be holding it down in New Jersey and I’m off to the gorgeous Pacific Northwest!

Portland, I’m coming for ya.

P.S…

I’m getting married on Monday! Epic wedding blog to follow — probably not for a while

Happy holidays everyone!

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Life

I want a thousand different jobs and will probably hold zero of them.

My life is a series of events caused by indecision and eagerness to succeed at everything I do. In high school I thought I had it all figured out. I fell in love with chemistry and a boy (who also loved chemistry), and from there my college plans were set in stone. We would both be chem majors at the University of Delaware, study together, move out together, and our life together would fall into place. And we did just that, until the funds ran low and I fell out of love; with chemistry first, and the boy later.

It wasn’t like I had failed. I was actually a teaching assistant with a great GPA and I’m sure plenty of opportunity. But I wasn’t inspired. I wouldn’t find my future in a lab. Moving forward, I think I tried everything I possibly could have. I attended two more colleges: Rutgers University and Ramapo College of New Jersey. My majors included biochemistry (pre-med), neuroscience, exercise science, business, psychology, photography, and drawing & painting. I also applied to many schools in between for archaeology, art history, culinary arts, and fashion design. Now, I’m 23, broke, and in the Army without a degree or a clue.

I quickly realized that I want too many things. And this has not changed at all. I want to be a tattoo artist. I want to own a bakery AND a bar. I want to plan weddings. I want to be an interior designer. I just want a job making things pretty. Sometimes I don’t want a job at all: I just want to raise babies and have a pretty, happy home.

But now, I want to go for something. To actually try to get one of these jobs I want so badly. But I am full of so much anxiety about each and every one.

Tattoo artists are probably the most incredible people in the world to me. They’re insanely detailed and impressive artists and then they take that ability and transfer it permanently onto another person’s skin. Is that not the most impressive thing you’ve ever heard of? I’m constantly afraid that I’ll never be good enough to do the job, and that friggin’ sucks because it’s the job I want most of all. But okay, even if my portfolio by some miracle of sweet sweet Jesus gets accepted by a good artist or shop, there’s the fact that apprenticeships actually cost you money. And you don’t get paid. And even if you get through an apprenticeship, there’s a good chance you’ll fail. I don’t like these odds…

A bakery… that’s simple enough. I know how to bake, am always excited to try new recipes, and well shit, I just love cupcakes, okay? But the problem with a bakery is you have to come up with the startup costs. Rent is not cheap. Kitchens are not cheap. And oh, there are always health inspectors and all that jazz. Plus, a bakery has to have the right location. You can’t just set one up in a random spot and think you’re going to do good business. Practical career? Hm. Debatable.

A bar. Me and my fiancé want to run our own bar SO BAD. But as we both have copious amounts of student loan debt, and are struggling to keep our heads above water, we might as well kiss that dream goodbye. Do you know the cost of a liquor license? Holy shitballs, Batman.  Not a chance.

Wedding Planner. Definitely. JLo did it. But honestly, unless you’re living in like… Manhattan with the socialites, don’t bother, because your business is going to be slooOOOOOOWWWWWW.

Interior designing is honestly even sadder than wedding planning. Like who on Earth has money for that? Just stop.

Finally, housewifey status. This is the most attainable of all these weirdo jobs I want because, with a hubby in the military, it isn’t that out of the ordinary to stay home and raise the kids. My favorite part about this one is I can make art, and design my house, and plan weddings all while at home. Homemaker of the year, betches.

Here’s my little bit of advice if you’re an indecisive little bitch like me: Find something that makes you happy as early as you can. High school if you can swing it. Don’t feel the need to be an elitist and go to an expensive school if you’re not sure about your future plans. Go for something. Even if it seems unattainable. (When I’m a tattoo artist, you’ll all hear more from me).

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Life

Confessions of a Wander Luster

People all throughout time have found passion and desire that come with international travel. Discovering new cultures, languages, food and sights has become one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever known. Not including vacations to the Caribbean with my family, most of the exploring I’ve done was in Germany. Connecting with my Western European roots and being on my own as a teenager was mesmerizing and now in my 20s, want nothing more than to continue on the road less traveled.

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My grandmother grew up in a very small house in an East-Berlin neighborhood. Her cousins lived down the street and they grew up with ration cards and limited garden space. My great grandma (we called her Oma) was the OG of single moms. How many women do you know that raised 2 kids on her own in post-WWII Germany? Probably not that many. Not to mention, the East side of the wall was not the place to be after the war. That part of the city has changed drastically since then. My grandma has been back, my mom has been back, and so have I. There are car dealerships, grocery stores, parks and boutiques. But the original cobblestones are still laying in the Straßen (streets) and you can still walk down to the Rewe to get groceries.

I knew exactly how I wanted to spend my life—exploration. Let’s be real, it’s 2013 and airlines love to charge the equivalent of a down payment on a new car to get one person across the world. Ain’t nobody got time (or money) for that. So naturally, I joined the Air Force. Little did I know, I ended up with a job that has the longest training and after more than a year, I have yet to see the world—with the exception of San Antonio and Monterey.

These are the confessions of my guilty pleasures.

 

Castles

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Dillenburg & Schloss Sanssouci are two of my favorite spots in the entire country to walk around. Hundreds of miles apart and completely different styles of buildings, I can appreciate the beauty in both. Dillenburg (top picture) is a very classic Prussian style castle. There are hidden passageways, winding stairs and rooms that were dedicated to crown jewels. Schloss Sanssouci (bottom picture) was obviously heavily influenced by the Italians. It literally feels like you leave Berlin and step into Sicily.

Being in two places at once

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As weird as this sounds, it is such a cool feeling. An iron and brick laden track runs throughout the city of Berlin to indicate where the wall used to stand. I always love to stand with one foot in each sector, no matter how old I get. The Berlin Wall separated Germany’s capitol for almost 30 years and it’s insane to me how different both sides of the city used to be, while currently being unidentifiable.

 

Spaghettieis

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I don’t know why this particular dish is such a big deal to me. Maybe because it’s not something I can buy or make while at home in America? It tastes just like every other ice cream sundae—yet somehow it isn’t. Compiled of vanilla ice cream “noodles”, strawberry compode “marinara sauce” and white chocolate “shaved parmesan”, adults and kids fawn over this stuff; and for good reason.

Cathedrals

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If you’re German, you’re either Catholic or Lutheran (or a Turk who’s family moved here from Istanbul and are a practicing Muslim, which is totally cool too). The gothic architecture of the southern parts of Germany are completely different from the romantic buildings of the North; both equally as beautiful. I can’t get enough. The Köln and Berliner Dom are definitely my favorites.

Bars

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Okay, obviously I think this is the best part because I’m not old enough to drink in America—but it’s not even to go out and get drunk. Having the ability to go out to dinner with friends and family and ordering a vintage wine, local stout or handcrafted cocktail is what I enjoy. I have a better nose for drinks than most people my age (outside of raspberry Smirnoff and lukewarm PBR). And let’s take a minute to appreciate Sky Bar that sits atop the 18th floor of one of the city’s skyscrapers and has panoramic windows for sightseeing. I did so while sipping a strawberry & balsamic martini—yum.

 

Family

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My parents have been divorced since I was in the first grade and we spent most of my childhood moving around. Until my brothers, mom and I settled in WA State, we hadn’t lived around family for a long time. When I’m in Berlin, so much of my family is within walking distance (or a short S-bahn ride). My Uncle Berndt owns a restaurant 3 blocks away from his house (where I usually stay with him and my Tante Hannelore) and I could stay there and drink beer late into the night just chatting; and I have. Plus, they have so many stories to tell and always have coffee and kuchen ready for me, how could I not love being around them?

 

Olympic Stadium

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I’m sporty. I like to watch sports, play sports, and read about them. Granted, Germany hasn’t had the best luck with hosting the Olympic Games. In the 30s, the Nazi regime held back colored athletes. In the 70s, there was a terrorist attack and athletes were kidnapped. But standing at the doors of some of the world’s most talented athletes is overwhelming. The structure of the building and vibe it gives off is just plain awesome.

Beach

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When you think of traveling to Europe, not everyone’s first thought is going to catch some rays. But everyone forgets the Baltic Sea; I like to call it the hidden treasure. Germany has an equivalent to Jersey Shore where 20-somethings go to Rostock and party 24/7. I spent some time at Warnemünde and day dream about going back all the time. Drinking beer and napping in the sand; it doesn’t get much better.

 

Tennis

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I had literally never once picked up a racket until I went back to Germany last summer. My grandma’s cousin Gerde and her husband Peter (the most adorable elderly couple in existence) have been part of the Berlin Tennis Club longer than I’ve been alive. They both have a killer serve and my Uncle Peter spent 4 hours last summer giving me some basic lessons.

Go out and experience things for yourself. These are some of my favorite spots, but don’t limit yourself. I have so many countries that I want to visit once I have the time. 

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Life, Technology

iPhone Apps I Need to Survive

1. MyFitnessPal

Literally my favorite diet/exercise app out there, and trust me I’ve used a LOT. (Honorable mention goes to Lose It!) However, I am obsessed with MFP, and here’s why: HUUUUGE food library. I don’t always track calories, but when I do I’m using MFP. They have the biggest selection of foods I’ve seen in an app, including grocery store foods and restaurant foods. Also, the barcode scanner is a must have for me. They also have a simple input for exercise although it’s not the greatest feature. I track my cardio on it, but there is not much on there for weightlifting. (It’s okay; I have another app for that!) Anyway, MFP keeps me on track and I’m super grateful for it. Writing in a journal is just so 2001.

2. MetricMe

If you’re big on lifting, this app is your best friend. It has basically every exercise you can think of, including heavy lifts, free weights, and even machines (if you’re into that). You can set goals, keep track of progress, and it makes it really easy to create routines that you will repeat. Get your pump, MetricMe’s got you.

3. Key Ring

This is my favorite thing that nobody seems to know about. You scan all those little friggin key tag discount cards into the app, so you can kiss your ginormous key ring goodbye. Super simple, super convenient. I always have my discount/rewards cards on me, every time. No looking up numbers or digging through your purse like a mad woman.

4. Ovia

Whether you’re trying to get knocked the eff up, or you just constantly forget your last period and look like a retard at every doctor’s visit, this app is phenomenal. You input your personal information and it estimates periods, ovulation, and fertility windows. But the amount of stuff you can input is really impressive. Every day has places for period, symptoms, food, BBT, OPKs, and HPTs. God, I forget everything and this app is the end of that nonsense. Boom, boom, POW. (Microsoft Word decided this should be capitalized, and I just had to allow it).

5. Spotify

I used to like Pandora, and StereoMood, and lord knows I was obsessed with Songza. But Spotify is my one true musical love. First off, it’s free, although I pay the $10 a month for the ability to use more than just the radio function on my phone. But you can use it on the computer, iPad, iPhone, etc. And you can use it as a database to look up any song you want, or use the radio, or playlists, or create your own playlists. It’s like iTunes but you don’t have to pay for the music.

6. Hulu Plus

I’m not usually one to watch shows on my phone because that shit is tiny and also you’re kind of weird if you’re just watching movies all over the place… But alas, Hulu Plus is on here because it gets me through the worst of cardio when I have the motivation of a hibernating bear. Whenever I don’t feel like I can go for very long, I just pop in my headphones and watch a TV show. (Usually Glee, but don’t judge me). And suddenly you’ve been doing cardio for like an hour and who even knew?

7. The Bump

If you’re knocked up, hi hi hello. Get this app. Because when you have 32574938768956985 questions and you’re a nervous wreck, this app has the answers. The forums on it are seriously so great. The ladies (and even men!) are super supportive and helpful and I just can’t say enough.

8. Flipagram

I just think this is the coolest. Choose a bunch of your pictures and create sweet little flipbook/movies out of them. And my favorite is the automatic timing for Instagram.

9. UrbanSpoon (Emily’s addition)

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The best feature is the price range and seeing what is open at the moment. I hate looking up restaurants on Yelp, only to find out they’re closed on Sundays. You can browse by cuisine, price, schedule, and what’s popular in your area. Yum.

10. The Knot (Emily’s addition)

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A personalized countdown until your wedding, a custom to-do list, and a budget checklist; this app is perfect for every bride-to-be. You can bookmark your favorite hair styles and floral arrangements, and keep track of all your venders by selecting them from the list. Pretty much every bridal vendor in every variety is available for selection, unless you live in Podunk Backwoods, AL.

These recommendations are entirely our own, and we are not receiving any endorsements from anyone in order to share them.

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Life

Mutti, Madre, Mère

We had to translate a sentence into English this morning on our quiz, “Mother’s Day is a special day and on it, sons present their mothers with a gift”—which got me thinking. Is that one random day in the springtime enough for 18+ years (hell, a lifetime) of hard work and sacrifice?

“As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.”

Kristin Hannah, Summer Island

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My mom is nothing short of heaven-sent. She has over 26 years of military service under her belt, raised 6 kids in a blended family and still manages to be a great wife and take care of herself. There is nobody I admire as much as her. If someone needed the perfect blend of loving and kickass, she’d be it.

You’ve been there for everything, even though you weren’t always physically there. You’ve let me crawl into bed with you when I was having nightmares and got me medicine past midnight if my tummy was hurting. You took me shopping for new clothes just because we could and braided my hair when I still didn’t know how. You played multiple roles—seamstress, co-fort builder, tea party guest, personal chef, lady in waiting when I was a princess, first aid assistant, teacher, personal stylist, hairdresser, guidance counselor, dessert taste tester, and countless more. We will forever tell each other to “shut your mouth” and squeal over the wittle baby dolphins. You put up with me no matter how bratty I got and without fail, always tell me to “get my fingers out of my mouth” when I go to bite my nails. You endlessly photographed my crazy eyes and always made me life size dresses identical to what my Barbies had. You were there to save the day when I accidentally shaved off my eyebrow and helped me cut a round brush out of my bangs—let’s not forget how much peanut butter you had to put in my hair over the years to get gum out. There isn’t anything you didn’t do for me, and there’s not a single thing I wouldn’t ever do for you.

At 20, not many people appreciate their mom as much as they should. During high school, I’m sure that’s an even larger number. I’ve always had a very close relationship with my mother. She’s my best friend, my number one fan and most importantly, she’s my mommy. Nobody will ever come before her on my ‘favorites’ in my iPhone—doesn’t matter who you are. I will always go to her first for advice and once I get rich, she’s finally going to get her private island (a woodsy one, of course; not tropical. There will be deer and bunnies and fog and chirping birds).

We’re both stationed away from home at the moment. She’s finishing up at the Senior NCO Academy in preparation for her promotion to Senior Master Sergeant. Somehow, in the midst of studying and writing speeches and running 5k’s, she has managed to plan practically my entire wedding from 5000 miles away from home. Every last detail has come down to her; she’s definitely made my life a lot easier. If I get stressed, she’s a phone call away to metaphorically rub my temples. Don’t ever underestimate your mom, they’re capable of some pretty amazing things—remember? They made you.

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Love

To you, for loving me.

You love me when I’m happy, when it’s easy. When I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe or, dare I say it, I snort. When I’m cuddly and kissy and just want to be touched. When I’m joking and watching so-bad-its-funny horror movies with you and scratching your head, back or various other body parts.

You love me when I’m sad. Not just sad, but like… pathetically sobbing, feeling like I’ll never be okay again sad. When all I do is push you away. When I can’t see and my nose is running and I am just an all-around crabby little asshole. When I have no goddamn clue why I’m in hysterics, you love me anyway.

You love me when I’m feeling fat. When I pull and tag at every bit of chub and loose skin, as if pulling it tight will make it stay that way. When I can’t fit into my jeans, so I wear the same pair of sweatpants every day consecutively for like a week. When I have to try on everything in my closet and have a full-out temper tantrum because I don’t like my body or anything I own to cover it up. You love me when I’ve gained ten pounds, even though I might as well have gained 100 with the way I’m acting.

You love me when I try to lose 30 pounds. When I’m supposed to diet and you’re supposed to be “helping” me, but every time you open your mouth about it I get super offended and bite your friggin’ head off. You love me when I fail, and when I complain about the gym. You love me even though I’m intolerable when I’m hungry.

You love me when I get mad at you for making jokes about other girls. When I get so jealous that even I can’t stand myself. When I can’t take a joke, or freak out about you calling me a mean name in a totally 100% joking manner.

You love me when I’m crazy. Wedding crazy. Baby crazy. Puppy crazy. ALL the crazy. When I’ve spent the past two hours obsessing to you over something you don’t give a single crap about. When I makes plans for us that you want no part of, you go anyway.

You love me when I say stupid things and hurt you. When it blows up, way out of proportion, into a screaming match. You love me when I apologize profusely, even though most of the time you know it won’t change. When you know it will happen again. You love me when it takes me a long time to get over it, and when it takes you a long time to get over it.

You love me when I can’t keep my hands off you. When I’m high on you. When all I want is be next to you for the rest of forever.

You love me whether it is easy or hard. Whether I deserve it or not. All the time.

You love me. And I love you. Unconditionally.

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